8 Comments

  1. Hello, just wondering if the flat rate is only for one year? I heard there is an amnesty program for expats & they only need to file the last 3 years of returns from the time they file. If so would it cost $799 x 3 years? & would that include the 6yrs of FBAR?

    Cheers

    1. Hello, Erin. Thank you for reading our blog so carefully. Your question is excellent. The distinction between a “retirement account” and a “traditional pension” is who owns the financial account. The employer typically owns the pension account, with workers owning only an unsecured promise to pay future benefits, providing that they work with the employer long enough to become eligible for benefits. For reporting purposes in the United States, we need to disclose only financial assets owned by the individual (or accounts that are jointly owned, or accounts over which a person has signature authority).

      Now I have not had an opportunity to take a close look at Danish pensions. Accordingly, I’m not in a position to provide a solid answer regarding the various pension schemes in Denmark. It does not matter whether the plan is called a pension. The crucial factor is who owns the funds. The Danish state pension, it seems to me, is more akin to a social security program, in that the retirement benefits are paid out of tax revenues and individuals do not own the underlying pension asset. Occupational pensions require a closer look: again the crucial question is who owns the underlying assets? Personal pensions are probably owned by the individual, so those likely will need to be reported to the US authorities.

      Hope this helps! We would love you work with you as a client.

    1. Paul, Yes! If your cryptocurrency broker is located outside the United States, then the maximum value of that crypto account should be reported on the Foreign Bank Account Report (FinCen Form 114).

      1. Thanks William for your fast reply.
        The cryptocurrencies I hold are on personal wallets, with no account number to identify them. Should I then just reference the amount I bought through the broker even if the currencies are not held there anymore? Thanks in advance.

        1. Paul, we have an update to share with you. Just today, we saw the following reported in the Wall Street Journal, “According to a Treasury unit, investors aren’t currently required to report cryptocurrency holdings on FinCen Form 114, known as the Fbar,” (Laura Saunders, March 16, 2018). I called FinCen just now, just to see if I could confirm this. Unfortunately, I could not get through to a live person on their hotline.

          Let me go back to your question. If you decide to report your cryptocurrency on your FBAR, then in your situation I would reference the dollar amount of crypto you bought through the broker. Because it sounds like you transferred the coin to your private wallet, so the initial dollar investment would have been the highest value of your “account” (for lack of a better word). So I’m in agreement with your thought process on this point.

          That being said, this reporting from the Wall Street Journal is making us re-think whether crypto should be on the Foreign Bank Account Report. And here I have a strong preference in favor of reporting on the FBAR any crypto held through foreign brokers. My reasoning here is rather straightforward. Wallets held through foreign brokers look similar to accounts (in the traditional sense of the word). On top of that, there is no downside to reporting the crypto accounts. And finally, I have not been able to verify with FinCen whether crypto should be reported on the FBAR. Better safe than sorry.

          Hope this helps!

  2. Thanks for following up William!
    I will follow your advice and report this broker account on the FBAR.
    If you end up receiving a confirmation from the IRS, thanks in advance for updating us on the thread 🙂

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